Microsoft has introduced real-time SMS indicators for Windows 10 Mobile users, allowing them to see when a contact is writing a message.
This is a brand new feature for SMS on Windows 10 Mobile, which is similar to the ‘…’ indicators used by some web-based messaging services. Not only that, though, Windows 10 Mobile also shows users when their messages have been read. Underneath the message itself is the time, the sending method (SIM/SMS chat), and – once it has been seen – the word ‘Read’.
The feature is currently only available through Vodafone, customers of which can gain access through a firmware update. However, users with brand new phones may have the service installed from day one.
It’s not known when more mobile operators in the UK will take advantage of this feature, but both T-Mobile and AT&T have already announced their support in the US, neowin.net notes. T-Mobile released a statement about its Advanced Messaging service, which reads: “You won’t need to search out, download, install, setup and register an extra app to get all that and more. It just works. Right out of the box.”
Microsoft’s support page has comments about the feature; however it wasn’t spotted until Monday 25 January by gmrtec.com. The page reads: “If your mobile operator offers a chat service, your messages to certain contacts may be sent using that service, and you’ll see chat instead of text in your messaging app. If you expect to see chat but don’t, try going to Messaging settings to turn it on.”
If users notice that the way they’re sending texts changes from ‘SMS Text’ to ‘SMS Chat’, this means their mobile operator has an RCS-compatible messaging service available, and that they can enjoy these real-time indicators.
Text messages haven’t changed all that much over the years, but their popularity and the necessity for their use hasn’t waned. Even so, it’s great that SMS messages on Windows 10 are getting a welcome upgrade, and it promises an exciting future – particularly for businesses that use SMS marketing. The real-time indicators will be a great tool for use in customer interaction, and could provide a fantastic alternative to website ‘live chat’ helpdesks.
It also gives SMS the ability to take its rightful place ahead of OTT services like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. These services require the internet in order for mobile owners to use them, which isn’t always possible when people are out and about. But their upside was in the real-time indicators and ‘message read’ confirmation they offered to users.
Now that text messages have this too, it’s no contest.